The India-U. S. Trade Policy Forum Meeting

The India-U. S. Trade Policy Forum Meeting: The India-U. S. Trade Policy Forum meeting has resulted in a smoother, friendlier and trusted environment for businesses to expand their trade and investment between the two countries, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on January 11, 2023. ‘Since we relaunched it (TPF) in a new form that renewed vigour in November 2021, we have seen this becoming a very robust and outcome-oriented discussion on several issues of mutual interest, which is resulting in a smoother business environment, a more friendly and trusted business environment for businesses to expand their trade and investment between the two countries,’ Mr. Goyal told a group of Indian reporters here at the conclusion of the 13th India-US TPF meeting which was co-chaired by him and the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

‘The Trade Policy Forum truly is one platform on which we have very free and frank discussions on a plethora of issues, some predefined on the table, and many which emerge from the discussions. And therefore, this kind of friendly atmosphere in which the US and India can actually discuss issues of mutual interest, and at times issues also, which cause concern on either side of the countries are discussed in a very, very open atmosphere in a very transparent manner,’ Mr. Goyal said. According to a USTR press release, the meeting provided the two ministers with the opportunity to review the work that has taken place, since the re-launch of the TPF in November 2021, under the Forum’s working groups, and to provide their guidance on priorities to pursue as part of the TPF’s 2023 work programme.

Ms. Tai emphasized that the TPF is contributing Directly

In her remarks during the TPF meeting, Ms. Tai emphasized that the TPF is contributing directly to the strength of US-India bilateral relations by providing a structure for constructive dialogue on trade policy matters. She noted the tremendous potential for ‘growth between our economies’, and the equally significant potential to ensure that bilateral trade brings a positive impact to working people in both countries. Ms. Tai also highlighted the commitment of both President Biden and herself to ensure that bilateral trade dialogue contributes directly to helping the United States and India respond to shared challenges in the global economy.

The U. S. official also highlighted the creation of a new TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade. Building on common ground achieved at the 12th TPF, this new Working Group will provide a structured framework for trade-focused bilateral discussion of issues of mutual interest including trade facilitation, labor, environment, and good regulatory practices, all with a view towards building a more resilient future for our economies, a media release said. Mr. Goyal said there was a very robust discussion amongst the officials and then today at the ministerial level, at finding solutions to the several WTO disputes that have been going on for several years between the U. S. and India.

‘These outstanding disputes are areas where both countries have had some wins and some losses. And we have directed our officials to engage very aggressively and over the next two or three months to see if we can find a bilateral settlement of some of these WTO disputes demonstrating the trust and friendship between the two countries,’ Mr. Goyal said. Mr. Goyal hoped that some satisfactory outcomes will come in the next few months on bilateral settlement of WTO disputes. Delay in business visa issuance discussed with US, says Goyal India discussed with the U. S. the inordinate delays in issuance of business visas to the people from India, and there has been a good resonance of it by the Americans, Mr. Goyal said.

‘We found very good resonance to our request that issuance of business visas which is taking a long time back home in India is an area which needs to be expedited so that business persons interested on both sides — the US businesses and Indian businesses — need to have faster processing of business reasons, so that trade and investment and business does not suffer,’ Mr. Goyal told reporters at the conclusion of India-US Trade Policy Forum meeting that he co-chaired with the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. India, Mr. Goyal said, has made the request to the U. S. that they may speed up the issuance of regular business visas when people come in for short trips to pursue their trade and business interests. ‘We are delighted that the movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors, business travellers, all are expanding between the two countries.

That has helped increase our bilateral relations,’ he noted. ‘We are grateful that the US was able to process the student visas on an expedited basis so that in the post COVID-19 scenario, our students could come to the US to pursue their studies in the fall of 2022 semester. We are now requesting them to see how we can resolve the movement of business persons on short term stays to the US,’ Mr. Goyal said India, US agree on mechanism to export Indian shrimps India and the United States are developing a mechanism for the Indian fishermen to be able to export shrimps for the American consumers, Mr. Goyal said. ‘We had discussions for restarting the wild caught shrimp exports from India to the US,’ Goyal told reporters at a news conference here at the conclusion of India-US Trade Policy Forum meeting that he co-chaired with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

This was an area that was banned by the US because of concerns around turtles, in the areas where wild caught shrimp was being fished in India, he said. ‘A turtle excluder device has been designed with the technical support of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), from the US, and that design has been accepted now, between the two countries as a collaborative effort between India and the United States,’ he said. The device is now being taken up for trials. The trials of that machine, he said, will ensure that the turtle excluder device will minimize the impact of fishing on the sea turtle population.

‘We hope that these trials in India will complete in the coming few months, so that wild caught shrimp can once again be exported from India to the US. ’ ‘It was a product of good acceptance in the US market, good taste, and has good potential for trade between the two countries,’ Mr. Goyal said.

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